Rain Causes Headaches for Communities Across Southern Nevada - 8 News NOW

Rain Causes Headaches for Communities Across Southern Nevada

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Flooding Near Harmon Flooding Near Harmon
Flooding in Mesquite Flooding in Mesquite
Henry Nadolni lost his home in the flood. Henry Nadolni lost his home in the flood.

LAS VEGAS -- Rain's been falling all day and night in southern Nevada, filling already wet streets and intersections with water. The wet weather also forced the Virgin River over its banks in Mesquite.

The days of rain are causing problems throughout the southwest, from street flooding in Las Vegas to mudslides in California.

The community of Mesquite has been hit hard by the rising water. For the most part, the rising water has now receded by as much seven or eight feet. Now the big concern is standing water and the threat of what mother nature left behind up north in Utah.

The people who live in Mesquite are not in the clear yet. Volunteers are working practically around the clock, preparing their first line of defense against standing and rising water. More than 60 tons of concrete and hundreds of sandbags are being used to fend off several feet of water.

Unfortunately for some people who live here, water already crept through the barricade, overtaking their backyards and even getting inside some homes.

SLIDESHOW: Winter Storm Hits Southern Nevada

"There's muddy water inside the kitchen, the carpet is fully wet in our bedroom and in the bathroom, the kid's room is wet and the garage. We picked up most the stuff off the floor and put it on top of beds, couches, and tables, so mainly the carpet is the damage," said Mesquite resident Kellie Cloward.

"My aunt and uncle, they got flooded," said Mesquite resident Kaitlyn Goessman. "They live on Sage, and their house got flooded out."

The first storm of the winter season damaged a handful of homes. The city shut off power to the homes and ordered a voluntary evacuation for 30 houses near the Virgin River's edge.

Tuesday, Mesquite Mayor Susan Holecheck declared state of emergency. A shelter is available for the residents who were evacuated, but hotels are also offering temporarily displaced homeowners free hotel rooms.

Five years ago, Mesquite was slammed with flooding and rain during a severe winter storm that caused a lot more damage than this year. City leaders appear to have learned a lot from 2005, examining the most likely places the river will breach and building barriers to control the river water.

Mesquite resident Tilman Hafen remembers the 2005 flood. He says this week's flood is worse.

"This is the biggest flood we ever had," he said.

City workers erected a dyke this week to protect Mesquite residents from floods.

The next round flooding may come in the Overton area, miles to the south of Mesquite. It is on a different river, but that one's rising as well. The Muddy River is living up to its name, raising the waters in Overton.

The National Weather Service says Overton and Moapa are safe for now. But by 2 a.m. Thursday morning, the Muddy River is expected to crest, putting the communities in danger.  The NWS says the river could get nearly three feet above flood stage.

But the community most in danger is up the Virgin River at Beaver Dam Resort. Residents say seven homes were lost when the wash turned into a powerful current. The waters undercut several home foundations, sweeping entire houses away.

Neighbors worked together to empty out homes now on the banks of the river.

"It's just starting to take effect. I'm sick to my stomach, I guess. I couldn't sleep last night," said Henry Nadolni who lost his home in the flood. "The reality is setting in. I'll think I'll have a house in Lake Mead now."

Around the clock work Tuesday night to create a makeshift levee in Littlefield, Arizona saved that small town. Water came close to homes, but neighbors are not reporting any home damage there.

Littlefield residents still have emptied their homes, waiting to abandon them if a flood surge overcomes their temporary levee.

Clark County has issued an avalanche advisory the Kyle Canyon area of Mt. Charleston. The heavy snowpack there has created the danger.

The hotel at the base of the residential area in Kyle Canyon is open, but travel above that is limited to residents and people with business up there because of the danger of an avalanche.

The power is out to most of the area. NV Energy says because of the danger, it may be a couple of days before the power's restored.

Around on the Lee Canyon side of the mountain, workers at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort have been clearing snow from around the buildings and getting the lifts working. They have been running this afternoon and a few hardy souls have been skiing.

With the weather clearing and all this new snow, the resort is expecting big crowds this weekend.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Bilbray Elementary School in northwest Las Vegas for people who are unable to get to their homes on Mt. Charleston.

In the Las Vegas valley, there have been road closures, full washes and hydroplaning like we haven't seen in some time.

The cement washes have done well shuffling water where it needs to go, along with water systems in places like Southern Highlands. But in still-developing parts of town, it's simply a mess.

Near Silverado Ranch and Decatur, a newly-built interchange has no drainage at all. That created pools after naturally-occurring channels flooded the road. But perhaps the worst problem was along I-15, where a massive earth mover had to bale out water and debris as more ponds formed.

At McKee Ranch, a family playground with animals, boarders had to dig out little trenches for drainage for the horses, goats and other livestock.

Max McKee has been at the area near under-developed Dean Martin Road for years. He's keeping in good spirits.

"The earth is just as hard as that road and that can cause some concerns, especially at my front door," he said.

Some people have been risking the rising water. A car up north near Grand Teton had to be pulled out by a tow truck that also had some issues. The water is fast, clogs up quickly and simply must be avoided. A lot of the worst flooding has slowly drained away into these washes, but you just have to be careful out there.

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